HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc1764-5
42. Mr. Byers

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he is aware that in certain cases where Ministry of Labour immigration permits have been issued for displaced persons to come to this country as domestic workers, the delay in dealing with the applications by the Combined Travel Security Board in Berlin has been such that the Ministry of Labour permit has expired before permission to travel has been given; and what steps he is taking to expedite the business of the Combined Security Board.

Mr. J. Hynd

These permits normally have to be presented to a passport control officer within two months of their issue, but instructions have been given that where the applicant is unable to present the permit within this time the condition may be waived. The machinery for granting exit permits is under continuous review and everything possible will be done to expedite the issue of permits.

Mr. Byers

Does not the fact that this period of two months has had to be waived prove conclusively that there is considerable delay in issuing these permits, and will the Minister undertake to send someone now to investigate the working of the Combined Travel Security Board and see whether it can be speeded up immediately?

Mr. Hynd

Already we have made a very close investigation into the procedure, and I am satisfied that the maximum is being done to speed it up. The fact that two months are allowed for the applicant to present the permit does not prove that the arrangements are not satisfactory, but sometimes there are difficulties on the part of the applicant not knowing the procedure in applying for a permit.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is the Chancellor of the Duchy aware that passports have to be obtained in one department, exit permits in another, and travelling facilities in a third; and that it takes four or five months to get all these facilities together and to secure the entry of the person into this country?

Mr. Stokes

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the amount of staff employed by the Passport Control Office because from information received it is quite clear that there is a bottleneck there?

Mr. Byers

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply and the fact that there has only been one reply to so many questions, I give notice that I will raise the matter on the. Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.